Last night I sat next to Molly, watching my aunt dance with her new husband. My stepfather walked onto the dance floor and took his sister, the bride, in his arms for their dance. And, of course, I sat there thinking of how much I’d love to see my son and daughter, currently mortal enemies, dance together at one of their weddings.
It had been a long day, starting with the kids circle support group. We had a large group this time – about 12 families. After the kids went their directions, the parents gathered to talk. One parent noted that we had a high proportion of people with very advanced cancers – metastatic colon, lung, pancreatic, mesothelioma, and kidney (me), among others. A few of the cancer parents had been given a timeline – a year, two years. Others of us don’t have a timeline yet. We aren’t blessed (or cursed) with that clock ticking quite so loudly.
But still, it’s there. And even if our use-by-date is unsaid, we know that our time is limited.
I know that the likelihood of being able to watch either of my kids get married is slim. I hope that I’ll be there, as well as for the births of their children and all the other highs and lows of their lives. I hope to see my children become friends, or at least be able to be friendly with one another.
And that’s where I was, emotionally, as I sat, sobbing quietly, in a bathroom stall, where I’d run to hide my tears. But spending my time mourning my (possible) losses isn’t living, at least not how I want to live. I want, need, to be in the moment, enjoying my family, my friends, my life. When I forget the present, I dive into the bleak possibilities of the future.
With that in mind, I wiped off the tears, splashed water on my face, and went back downstairs for a slice of wedding cake and to dance and laugh right then, in the present, with my family.